Makes You Wonder What Sort of People Would Vote to Send Such a Person to Congress

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I've wondered that for years, especially from a state that is rather well known for its many freethinking citizens.

That photograph has always gagged me...the phoney "spiritual" upward gaze.  Typical of many pastors, gurus, and "faith" healers...ie: con artists.

To me, the look on Bachmann's face confirms the lastline of Dennis Michael Penningston's comment below. She's nutz.

It means her version of the bible was written in English. She's one of these "god said it" people and is trying to identify with others who don't give a rats ass about accuracy. The stategy was to appeal to the "bible middle class." She's also batshit crazy!

Probably the best evidence available that it doesn't take intelligence to run for Congress.

Many years ago I read a book (it's been so long ago that I forgot the author and title) that claimed Jebus and his 12 were of a secret society that already  had cameras. Therefore, the author concluded that the painting "The Last Supper" was done from a real picture!

I'll apply to her what Bill Maher said of Sarah Palin shortly after the tornado in Joplin, MO.

She's a category 5 moron.

We are perfectly free to vote for bigoted idiots -- that's representative democracy.  I can say from experience and without fear of contradiction that Lindsay Graham (R, SC) accurately represents the majority of his constituency, as did Strom Thurmond before him.  Don't complain about elected officials -- appeal to those who elect them.

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Ted, I agree to a point. And, what you say of Lindsey Graham, Strom Thurmond, and others in the Senate, are probably true about the individual states as a whole. However, when it comes to the House of Representatives, I take a different approach. If you look at a map of congressional districts nationwide, you find the boundaries have less logic than a child's finger painting.  Most of these districts are gerrymandered to insure that the incumbent party stays in power, and representation of the inhabitants is secondary to maintaining the House seat. Here's two examples from my home state, Illinois. The 4th congressional district in Chicago and the 15th, downstate. As evidenced by the boundaries, they are not drawn to insure people with common issues to their region are equally represented. The 15th, in particular, includes people 90 miles outside of Chicago with rural inhabitants over 200 miles away, who may have never been to Chicago or northern Illinois. And, I have no doubt the same holds true in individual state legislative districts. It's not always the electorate. It's often those who manipulate the system for the maintenance of power.

Excellent point Pat.  And we have things like subtle or not so subtle voter disenfranchisement.  I missed voting in 2012 for the first time since 1972 because I had moved and couldn't adequately prove residency in the state where I was born, despite producing birth certificate, tax returns, etc., etc.  Hell, I couldn't even register my car or get a driver's license, and so quit driving for a year.  When I tried again after the election, and with more documentation, I still got turned away.  Then I tried without checking the 'motor voter' box, and it all went through as slick as snot.


These are not necessarily laws, but attitudes; though locally passed laws encourage and empower them.  It matters for whom you vote (if allowed) on the local levels, perhaps even more than at state & federal levels.  Those who crafted that gerrymandered map were operatives below governor level, but most who made them fact were elected with real votes by real people.  We who live way out on a long finger of an artificial district have our votes negated (or reinforced) by the shape of that district.  And so, our political energies are most effectively directed toward the people & processes that build and maintain them.

As a liberal resident of South Carolina my vote for president or governor or senator or representative matters not a whit.  Where it can matter, at least a little, is in election of state representatives or county commissioners or sheriff or judges or mayor or school board members.  Those gerrymandered maps may be directed from top down, but they're built from bottom up.  And those who created them were voted for and so supported at street level.

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Yes, yes, yes, Pat, the gerrymandering is a huge problem. By clever manipulation of the boundary lines, our district went from a Democratic (and largely Hispanic) constituency to one characterized by inclusion of mostly Republican, mostly white, and largely rutal, upstate voters guaranteed to vote Republican. What we had was a piss poor Democratic rep without an original thought who had been there for decades but at least usualy voted with liberals, and what we have is a multi-millionaire son of oil interests who voted for the Ryan Budget the moment he got to D.C., Tea Potty all the way.

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Pat, what, if anything, can a citizen do about it? Every one is sick of feeling like we're being screwed by our government but we're damn sure never kissed. I thought for a brief time that OWL might have an impact but we all know how that turned out. I'm tempted to not even bother voting again. Is there any hope left for the working person?

k.h. I wish I had a good answer. Congressional voting districts are set by those in power in the individual states. Illinois is a traditional Democratic state. But, that's because of Chicago and Cook County, not the downstate voters. Cook and the surrounding counties comprise 75% of the population, yet less than 15% of the land mass. And, in Illinois, if you want to see who is really in charge, it works like this:

1. Speaker of the State House - Michael Madigan
2. Mayor of Chicago - Rob Emmanuel 
3. President of the State Senate - John Cullerton
4. Governor - Pat Quinn

All 4 are Democrats, and of the 4, the vast majority of power are held by the top 2. The governor is slightly more than a figurehead.  These are the individual who control the drawing of the maps. Downstate legislators ocassionaly try to buck the system, but to little avail. There was a push, several years ago in Illinois to have an honest districting map. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 put a quick end to that shit. #4 at the time (Blagojevich), had his own problems with Federal prosecutors. 

One example from one State. Like I said, I wish I had a good answer. 

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